THE NETTED HUMANITARIAN: IMPROVING THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE/DISASTER RELIEF (HA/DR) MISSIONS C
Gutierrez, Christian X.
Cook, Glenn R.
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Setting up reliable communications after a disaster is an extremely difficult yet crucial requirement for coordinating relief efforts. Lessons learned from recent humanitarian disasters point to major difficulties in establishing communications to quickly and accurately assess responder needs in the affected area and communicating this information to first responders from government relief agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the military. The militarys growing role in Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions makes it imperative that military first responders coordinate with partner relief groups to improve the current assessment and relief processes. The current assessment and relief processes are generally ineffective due to inherent mistrust between responding organizations and lack of experience working together in a chaotic and time-pressed environment. This research analyzes issues with the current processes utilized by responders in HA/DR missions and researches if Netted Humanitarian responders trained in the set up/operation of Hastily Formed Networks (HFN) equipment can improve the process of assessing the ICT situation on the ground following a disaster. It further delves into the possibility that these highly trained individuals will expedite overcoming the communications vacuum that immediately follows a natural disaster, and will be beneficial in coordinating the combined recovery efforts of responding organizations.
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